CFF would like to set the record straight - CFF Freestyle is
FAR MORE THAN JUST HEELING TO MUSIC, despite what you may have
seen repeatedly published by others. Yes, there is more than
one group promoting Freestyle and their styles of Freestyle are
very different. Please take the time to differentiate among them
and the events and demos they sponsor.
Every CFF competition Level requires more than heeling. Any
performance of only heeling would be eliminated for not fulfilling
the required moves and also score poorly in Artistic Impression.
CFF demonstrations adhere to the same definitions and guidelines
as competitions while remaining a bit more flexible about required
Yes, heel and front are foundation positions required for a
standard of judging, but the creative potential for movement
in and out of and relating to these two positions is boundless.
Don’t believe anyone who tells you there is a position
or movement which is a dead-end or useless in Freestyle. There
are always creative possibilities in Freestyle. Your job is to
choose the ones which make your dog look his best.
Yes, Freestyle is based on obedience. You have devoted hours,
months and years training your dog. Don’t you want to build
on that training rather than throwing it out and starting all
over? Actually all types of Freestyle build on obedience whether
they acknowledge it or not.
CFF defines traditional positions such as heel and front as
well as movements new in Freestyle such as lateral work, pivots
and others. We do not assume that everyone has the same mental
images of these positions and movements. They almost certainly
do not and a defined standard is necessary for judging.
Each Level of CFF competition has required movements. Points
will be lost for not performing these movements. All other movements
are defined as optional. If they add to the quality of a performance
you may earn a higher score but you will never lose points for
not performing them.
CFF trains its judges carefully and is constantly refining that
process. CFF judges must have earned a UD because they must have
an excellent understanding of the training involved. They must
study videos, and actual performances or classes if possible.
They must practice scoring and discuss and review their scoring
with CFF representatives. Their eye must be trained to understand
and evaluate movement and choreography. This is a far different
task from judging obedience as every performance is different.
Just as in obedience and in all established sports, CFF judges
may not participate in a competition where they are judging.
To maintain fairness in judging it is imperative that there be
no possible appearance of impropriety or prejudice.
CFF is very specific that the dog must move with the music.
A well known principle of dance is that the eye is always drawn
to movement which matches the rhythm of the music. This is why
CFF requires the dog to move with the rhythm of the music. This
is a dog sport and the focus should be on the dog. The handler
may, and frequently does, also move with the rhythm of the music.
However, if the handler alone moves with the rhythm of the music
the focus shifts to the handler and the dog becomes a prop. If
music is selected as an accompaniment without regard to the rhythm
it is not an integral part of a presentation. As such the music
imposes no restraints on the performance, but does not contribute
to it either.
CFF offers you the opportunity to learn how to create movement
with music with your dog, unique to your dog, reflecting your
bond and relationship with your dog and a delight to the spectator's
CFF IS FAR MORE THAN JUST HEELING TO MUSIC. CFF incorporates
sound, solid and proven theories of movement and choreography
developed by the dance community over many, many years. CFF would
like to help you learn these principles so you and your dog can
experience the joys of Freestyle.
Canine Freestyle Federation
Built on Obedience and Training
Growing with Music and Choreography